Friday, July 16, 2010

Thoughts on Varg Veum Week

I've really enjoyed Varg Veum Week on MHZ Networks and we still have tonight and Saturday to come. Aside from viewing the great Veum episodes again, I've truly enjoyed the wonderful interviews at the end with creator/author Gunnar Staalesen. He comes across as a wonderfully engaging man who truly loves his creation and his home city of Bergen.

Also a treat to see how famous and popular Varg Veum is in Norway. So much so that he has his own statue in Bergen near his office at the Strand Hotel. Fascinating to know that the statue was based on the look of three men, Mr. Staalesen (we can see that in the photo above), Trond Espen Seim who currently plays Varg, and *another actor (sorry, didn't catch his name) who portrayed the fictional detective in the theatre. (I know the third actor was a guest star in an episode of Varg Veum, I'll have to find his name.)

I understand that three of the novels have been translated to English so far. I haven't read the novels yet, but I encourage anyone in the US, or anyone who can view MHZ Networks to check out Varg Veum tonight and tomorrow night.

UPDATE: Thanks to some wonderfully helpful and knowledgeable readers (see comments below for more info) I now know that *the actor who played Varg Veum on stage and radio is Bjørn Willberg Andersen click HERE for more information.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Great news for mystery lovers! MHZNetworks in the US will be showing a full week of the Norwegian detective series Varg Veum from July 12-16. I think I've seen all the episodes of the series so far, but plan to watch them all again.

For those not familiar with the series, Varg Veum is played wonderfully by actor Trond Espen Seim. Trond plays my favorite type of private detective, and I don't mean just because he's tall, blond and I can imagine him in full Viking gear sailing towards me in a longship. I love Varg Veum because he cares. You see Varg used to be a social worker specializing in children and teenagers. He's now a detective and his world view as a former social worker influences his dealings with criminals and victims alike.

But I also love the fact that Varg, like other fictional detectives from this part of the world, is very human. He doesn't always get the girl, or even pick the right girl. He makes mistakes and pays for them. He lets his emotions influence his actions at the wrong moment.

Varg's sometimes ally, sometimes enemy, sometimes competitor, is police Chief Inspector Hamre played by Bjorn Floberg (see photo above). For me the two men play perfectly off each other because Varg is the idealist and Hamre the realist. As you watch the episodes of the series you get the idea the two really respect each other, though they would never admit it.

One additional plus for the series is Bergen. The second largest city in Norway, Bergen is another character in the series as Varg's home and workplace.

The series is based on the crime novels by Norwegian writer Gunnar Staalesen.

To find out more about Varg Veum, to check out the series schedule on MHZ Networks or buy the DVD's click HERE.

Breaking News-ScreenDaily: Second Varg Veum Series for Distribution in August: Click HERE for full article...

The latest film is the first of six new thrillers featuring the Norwegian dectective.

Stefan Faldbakken’s The Writing On The Wall (Skriften På Veggen) will launch the $14.1m (NOK 91m) second series of Varg Veum thrillers when it is released on August 27.

The latest instalment of the franchise, which is based on the best-selling novels by Gunnar Staalesen, follows Veum as he investigates the murder of a judge. Scripted by Thomas Moldestad, it will see Trond Espen Seim (pictured) return in the lead role alongside Bjørn Floberg as his sidekick, Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Lene Nystrøm.

Meanwhile, principal photography begins today (July 6) on Two Black Sheep (Svarte Får) and Suburban Death (Dødens drabanter, both of which are being directed by Stephan Apelgren, of Wallander fame.

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